With so many changes coming to football, specifically on the field, it remains a rather simple game.  You have be able to run the ball, protect the QB and rush the QB.  The teams that are successful in those areas tend to have good if not great seasons.

The 2022 season was a struggle for the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.  A coaching turnover and players in and out of the portal were the certainly a couple of the reasons for the inconsistent year.  But another one was the young offensive line.

Louisiana v Iowa State
David Purdy

Max Mitchell was drafted by the New Yoirk Jets and O'Cyrus Torrence transferred to Florida to be with former Louisiana coach Billy Napier.  What was expected to have at least a little experience and a future 2nd round pick in the NFL, the Cajuns were basically breaking in an entire new offensive line in '22.

O'Cyrus Torrence

Compare that to this upcoming season in '23 and the Ragin' Cajuns are basically set with the OL.  Right now, only the right tackle spot is open and that's only because the expected starter Quinton Williams is injured, but is still supposed to be back early in the regular season.

Head Coach Mike Desormeaux and Left Tackle Nathan Thomas discussed the improvement of the OL at Monday afternoon's presser conference.

Ragin' Cajuns Head Coach Mike Desormeaux

It's way ahead from last year. We’ve got 4 no doubt pieces in place from RG to LT.  They have looked really good.  They are on the same page. Communicating very well.

Right tackle is the one that’s kinda up for grabs a little bit. With Quinton (Williams) out, he’s one we thought was the front-runner for that spot.

But it means George Jackson, James Ohonba and Trent Murphy all have gotten reps at right tackle.  We’re gonna keep letting those guys battle it out and try to raise their game.  Each one of them does good things at times and they have different strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to let them keep battling it out. I think the competition is the best thing you can do for a position like that instead of putting something in place and just go with it.

Ragin' Cajuns
courtesy of Cody Junot

We have a lot of guys rotating in and out of the 1 and 2 deep just to see how they respond to facing better players on the other side.

Feel really good about where this group is right now.  You’ve got really good leaders in that group and the intent behind the practice is different than it has been  The fact they have been able to practice together continuously since February has certainly made a difference. 

LT Nathan Thomas 

Big thing is chemistry.  Our chemistry is there.  The class I came in with, we’re all playing together.  We’ve built that chemistry playing coming up thru the years.  That is the one big thing we have from last year to this year. 

Ragin' Cajuns Head Coach Mike Desormeaux

I think at times he’s (Ohonba) a little bit more natural at tackle, just the way he plays, the nature of his game.  But his experience is a reason why you want to put him in the mix.

George played quite a bit last year. Trent has really never played  George has played a little bit but he is still young.  James is an older guy that has played quite a bit. There is value in that.  He is very intelligent. He can play inside and outside, left side, right side.  There is value in that.

Kaden Moreau is performing much better than he did last year which you’d expect in year two. Mackey Maillho is really starting to turn the corner for us a little bit. Everyone improves and develops at their own time. Sometimes it's not as fast as you’d like it to be, but he’s turning the corner now and he’s working at a different level than he has.

Michael Desormeaux
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Bryant Williams, he’s really gifted.  He’s missed a lot of time.  Even though he may not have played last year, him getting hurt and missing that much time, so he’s playing catchup a little but mentally with it.

You’re trying to develop the depth in there.  Who is 8th, 9th and 10th in that group.  I’m really pleased with our offensive line so far. I’m not going to predict anything, we’ve got work to do like everyone.  But we are in a better spot, a much better spot than last year. 

LT Nathan Thomas 

Working on my technique. Be better for the young guys. It’s not just about me, it's about the whole group. If I’m out there getting better, the next man will get better and so forth and so forth.

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